Took 1st dose of Cimzia and was in the Emergency Room

Enbrel stopped working for me, so I was prescribed Cimzia.

After taking my first loading dose of Cimzia on Saturday I was in the ER with horrible side effects: painfully nauseated, complete weakness, I could barely walk. It felt like I had 2 doses of chemo - never had it but can only imagine. I called my rheumy and he told me to go to ER to get IV fluids to help flush it out of my system.

It's Tuesday and I'm still home in bed recovering. My rheumy said I'll have to try something else.

Has anyone else had biologic med side effects like this? I took 400 ml Cimzia and I have this problem before with other meds and had to take very low dose and work up to the therapeutic dose. My rheumy said Cimzia is a fairly mild PsA med, so I'm thinking I should try with a smaller dose and work up.

Meanwhile, I have no PsA med other than 2 mg Prednisone daily and I'm so fatigued and haven't been to work in, well, I lost count on the number of weeks.

Any thoughts or ideas are appreciated !

My thoughts are: I’m so sorry. Other than that, I have no idea, Frances.
I don’t recall anybody having a reaction like this to a biologic, but then my memory isn’t what it used to be either. Whatever, I’m glad that you are on the mend, but wouldn’t it have been nice to start getting your disease back under control?

I spoke to my rheumy on Saturday and I don't think he has had a patient react like I did. As I've told you, he's great and knows me and said I'm just sensitive to meds. I have an appointment with him next Tuesday to discuss a new treatment plan.

I'm soooo thankful I have such a great rheumy who understands that everyone is different - another doctor would have probably sent me for some unnecessary tests not believing that it is was the Cimzia and that my body is sensitive to meds.

Most initial reactions come from infusion type TNFs. There is always a chance you had an allergic reaction, but I think there is something else going on. I just started Cimzia a month ago without many issues. I get a slight hangover, but I have had with all biologics.

Thanks for responding. I had no issues with Enbrel, however, I have been very sensitive to many other meds.

I didn’t agree with Humira… My only suggestion (if you try another bio) is to have the first dose administered by the nurse and request to sit in loby for 90 minutes to see if there is any reaction. Just to be on safe side.

Oh Frances this sounds awful. I have a lot of Nausea with the DMARDs that I have tried. I am on Stelara now and have not been sensitive to this biological. Hope you feel better and can use something else without such a terrible reaction!

My Rheumy and I met and had the same plan - to take small doses of Cimzia and work up to the loading dose. This worked for my narcolepsy med and it worked for the Cimzia yay ! My rheumy has never had a patient do this and was excited to see the outcome. Because this worked, I'm going to try to take methotrexate again by syringe starting with small doses.

I hope this info helps someone else who is struggling with side effects from a med.

Sounds like a plan, Frances, but what a shame that you have to do it like this. All the same, if you manage to get it to work by doing this, that’s two thumbs up!

Yes, it's better than not having the option to take Cimzia, and I suspect I might have the same problem with another biologic, so Imight aw well get use to starting meds like this :-)
Seenie said:

Sounds like a plan, Frances, but what a shame that you have to do it like this. All the same, if you manage to get it to work by doing this, that's two thumbs up!

I'm doing very well with Cimzia now with no noticeable side effects - starting with a small dose and increasing worked ! ! And who would have thought the patient solved the problem :-)

I hope this helps someone else who is having side effects from any drug.